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Lighting Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? I Have Just the Light For You!

This is literally the most flexible light in the world of entertainment lighting! The Bi-Color Flexlite, released in April of this year by Aladdin USA, is a light everyone should be using on every shoot. When I say “literally” I mean the fixture can actually bend to fit the contour of a column or the ceiling of a car. The Bi-Color Flexlite is so light and malleable that you can tape it to a column or to the ceiling of a car without any other type of support. Crazy, right? But “literally” true. Need the light to be daylight balanced to boost the ambient daylight from the windshield of a car? No problem. Switching color temperature is a breeze with the turn of a dial! Use gaffers tape to tape the unit to the ceiling of a car or the inside of a windshield. And don’t worry about power availability — you can run it off a battery. As an LED, it will run for an hour on a 90wh battery or 2 hours on a 180Wh battery. The “flexibility” doesn’t stop there…the accessories available for this fixture can support any situation. Do you need a lightweight lantern in a limited power situation? Just strap on gold mounted batteries and set it up with the custom-built lantern. The lantern just pops open into shape when you remove it from the bag -– it can be set up in a matter of seconds. Don’t have a c-stand or maffer clamp? Hang the Bi-Color Flexlite in its lantern anywhere. The kit comes with a dual magnet mount so it can be mounted onto any metal surface. The kit is full of useful accessories in addition to the dual magnet mount. Included is a baby pin adapter to set it up directly on a stand. Additionally, there is a soft box with no support rods or speed rings – the soft box just affixes via Velcro directly to the back of the light. The front diffusion piece sits approximately 4″ above the Bi-Color Flexlite panel. This creates a beautiful, soft light. Have you been concerned about the green shift in LED lighting? Well, not any more! This light reads  like a dream on the CRI with even, white light – no valleys and no peaks. Check out this photometrics chart from the Aladdin website:

Aladin Bi Flex 50W
60cm/2ft 1m/3ft 2m/6ft 3m/9ft CRI
Daylight  6000K 4200lux 1600lux 450lux 210lux 98
BiColor    4200K 4600lux 1700lux 500lux 230lux 97
Tungsten 3000K 3400lux 1200lux 340lux 170lux 97

But wait, there’s more… I just can’t say enough great things about this fixture. The Bi-Color Flexlite is splash and rainproof too – they have conducted tests submerging the fixture in pools and an aquarium. BUT, do be careful, as the dimmer and power unit are not splash/rainproof and will need to be protected. This light can be used in so many different ways that I wouldn’t want to be on set without at least one of these. Thank you for reading, and, as always, do not hesitate to call me with any questions at 617-277-2200 (or 800-rule-com), or email me HighOutput@rule.com. I look forward to seeing all of you at my next Showroom Demo on Wednesday, September 30th from 12 to 1pm. RSVP: HighOutputEvents@Rule.com. -Alison Cupples, Lighting Specialist, HighOutput@Rule.com

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Sound Advice Tour Recap

The Sound Advice Tour ended its tour in Boston MA and I was lucky enough to go and check it out. Being an audio guy I was really curious how he was going to explain and teach us things about audio for video. In the class there were way more video people than audio people, with all different levels of experience. He first started by showing us clips of different movies he has done and showed us how much the audio impacts the movie as a whole and the slightest sound can change the whole setting. I was really impressed with how much work is really done for a feature length film and by the end you can end up with over hundreds of tracks for foley, music and sound effects. Once we got more into the lecture he talked about how to record foley and what types of microphones to use in certain situations. For example if you are using a Sennheiser MKH 8060 out in the field to record your audio and you need to do ADR in the studio then you should use the exact same microphone in the studio so it has the same characteristics. He showed us a cool technique that when using an omni-directional microphone with a group of people walking and talking in circles around the microphone it creates a cool effect to where it seems like there are way more people in the setting than there actually is. This really blew my mind away, “DOPE”. We did talk a lot about equalization and cleaning up your audio in post. Cleaning up your audio really makes the voice stand out and removing unwanted noise in the background can really make a difference. The thing I was most excited about was learning how to get rid of that unwanted noise that comes from having a microphone on a boom pole. I always kind of knew how to get rid of it but the way he showed us really blew my mind and really helped me out for my future projects. If you don’t have the software called RX4 by iZotope and you are doing audio for videos then I highly recommend you get this. This software’s algorithm is highly advanced and can do just about anything from de-noising, to a simple EQ clean up and even de-reverbing! “WHAT?!?!” Yeah this software can really do it all and will make your films stand out from the rest of them. I went home and bought it that same day because I was so amazed by it. We also learned the three aspects of music that can really help your film because you do not want some horror type music in an epic fight scene it just doesn’t make sense. First you have your rhythm, your fight or flight. Second is melody, the thematic recall. Third you have the harmony, the emotional core of music. Most of the time there are two of these happening at a given time. Another good tip for everyone out there bad foley is better than no foley even if it is recorded on your iPhone still use it, it will help you out in the end. But remember mix it low and give it some EQ because those couple of steps are better heard low than not being there at all. After the whole class I learned a lot and recommend anyone check out Mark Edward Lewis’s class if you get a chance he really explains everything in depth and he really engages the audience. -Scott Pierce, Quality Control Technician, pierce@rule.com

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Fun New Features Come with the Latest Panasonic GH4 v2.2 Update

Though I’ve already written about how head-over-heels I am for Panasonic’s overly affordable GH4, I thought I’d take some time to check in with the little wonder, and discuss some of the fun new features Panasonic has included! Earlier this spring, Panasonic released firmware version 2.2, and with it a slew of updates aimed squarely at the most fastidious gear nerds. The Lumix series of cameras have long been championed by a loud minority – people hacking cameras, doing everything they could to squeeze the best possible image out of these cheap mirrorless cameras. With the GH4, that community has grown impressively. A subset of the micro four thirds folks, however, is that of the anamorphic shooters. For years people have been attaching old anamorphic projector lenses to adapters, rigging up double focus systems, and putting themselves through production hell – chasing that anamorphic image. Panasonic has once again listened to their user base, and with their new release has enabled true 4:3 anamorphic recording for 2x lenses. Not something you see very often in price ranges below $40,000! Below is a great lens test from vimeo user Sittipong Kongtong, comparing the lowly GH4 with the RED Dragon. https://vimeo.com/127348773 Here’s another great interview with Panasonic from NAB, conducted by www.nofilmschool.com – giving a bit more insight into how it all works – as well as discussion on the upcoming firmware update that will allow true V-Log recording! V-Log will be coming straight from the Varicam 35, which is a surprising addition to a camera at such a low price point. For comparison, it’s not until the C100 level of camera that Canon offers a log profile. Panasonic continues to answer niche shooters’ prayers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=110&v=rzaVp7cSaf4 I will be hosting a Showroom Demo on the new firmware, as well as some color correction techniques for the GH4 on June 10th from 12:00pm-1:00pm here at Rule Boston Camera. Be sure to swing by! -Alex Enman, Engineer, enman@rule.com